Do you ever struggle with turning the reins over to your husband and wanting to be a control freak? Story of my marriage, although I am trying to get better. This was the question Sheila posed today at her blog To Love, Honor, and Vacuum for her Wifey Wednesdays marriage theme.
Confession: THIS week I had a problem with this issue! It all started when Ray wanted to take me and Leah out for a nice dinner in Lee’s Summit. On the way there, our car broke down (again!) on the highway, with grey clouds of smoke pouring out of the hood. Luckily, a pastor in town “just happened” to be driving past us on his way to seminary class, stopped to help, and called a friend with a truck, a rope, and a chain to pull it. We winded up having to call a tow service anyway, because our car’s power brakes would not work in pulling it, with the car not being able to turn on. (Learn something new every day!)
As we sat in our car waiting for the tow truck for 45 minutes, Ray got bored and called the auto dealership in town. They couldn’t really help us with what we wanted or needed, so this weekend we decided to try the nearest Kia dealer. (We found out later that the car’s repair will cost more than the value of the car.)
The Kia salesman found a couple of cars for us immediately (one which was waiting for a ‘check engine light’ repair at the garage!), and proceeded to quickly crunch numbers. After getting preapproval for the loan by phone, he could help us by cutting the monthly payments of that car from $350 to $215 (not bad), as long as we paid $500 more than we originally offered on the down payment…AND at a 22% interest rate. Ray almost walked off. This is when my rein-grabbing tendencies kicked in.
Now granted, a 22% interest rate is insanity. (I can hear Dave Ramsey ranting now.) But visions of us walking everywhere for the next year, even to our daughter’s house an hour away, floated in my head. We needed a car. We don’t have thousands to plop down for the down payment and are still rebuilding our credit from severe financial difficulties several years ago, so it’s not like we can be picky right now. “What else are we going to do?” I asked Ray. “We can get a car TODAY!” Just sign the papers, take the nice, black, almost-new, little, Kia four-door, automatic car with heat/ac, a radio/cd player, good tires, low mileage and a decent monthly payment, and drive off with it into the sunset (or at least to Sonic to get a cold coke)…problem solved!
Ray did ask my opinion about it, but he refused to do it. He said that we could find something better at a much lower interest rate. He is still walking to work in the mornings (just a few blocks from here). We are still looking for a car to buy, and filled out an online application yesterday for another nice car that we found. (We never did get to go out to dinner that night; instead, we were dropped off home by the pastor’s friend and the tow service man, and we ordered take-out pepperoni pizza!)
Later when I really thought about the Kia situation, I knew Ray was right. What on earth was I thinking? 22% interest! Next, they’ll be wanting a kidney donated! No thanks. God WILL provide something better – more affordable – a much lower interest rate! Besides, a rushed decision is not usually a wise one. And my husband does have a lot of wisdom – obviously more than me sometimes!
While I didn’t argue with Ray over saying no, initially I was irritated with him – because I didn’t know any other answer. I DID get over myself that day…but I should have never been annoyed in the first place because Ray was making the RIGHT, SMART decision for our family, as God intended for him to do.
That doesn’t mean I don’t matter and have no voice or say in our marriage. God greatly values women. And there are many situations in our lives where Ray seeks my insights and discernment before making decisions. He wants to make our family’s decisions together. But I do need to learn to trust that Ray will hear God’s voice clearly to make the final decision and to lead effectively. If he does happen to miss God and messes up, His grace is sufficient. In this situation, though, I believe Ray did what was right – even though I really wanted a car THAT day!
What are examples of your struggles with letting go of the reins in your marriage? Do you find it hard to trust God and let your husband lead? Does your control freak ever try to take over and hinder what God is trying to accomplish in your lives? Have you learned to let go easily and trust?
For your amusement, here is the You Tube video of our car smoking. I will post a pic of the car God blesses us with SOON – thanks for everyone’s prayers!